Number of people in need of care in Germany doubles to 5 million within ten years


The latest care statistics show that there will be around 4.96 million people in need of care in Germany in 2021, a huge increase on previous years. All persons who receive benefits from social long-term care insurance are counted as persons in need of long-term care. The sharp increase continues to show the effects of the introduction of the expanded definition of the need for care on January 1, 2017. Since then, more people have been classified as needing care than before.

Ten years ago, the number of people in need of care was still 2.5 million. Thus, there has been a doubling of the need for care in Germany in recent years (+98% since 2011, see figure). At the beginning of the millennium, the number still grew at a comparatively moderate pace of 23%. This development is primarily attributable to the rising number of people in need of care who are cared for at home, which currently comprises 4.17 million people - twice as many as in 2015. By contrast, 0.79 million of those in need of care are cared for in inpatient homes. The ratio of inpatients to those cared for from home is around one to six, with the proportion shifting toward care at home.

The recording of the need for care is accompanied by the assignment of those in need of care to care grades 1 to 5, which since 2017 have replaced the care grades that applied until then. The extent of the health-related impairment of independence determines the classification to the care grades, whereby a higher care grade stands for a more severe impairment. A large part of the increase in the need for care is due to the higher coverage of people entitled to benefits under care level 1: around 13% of those in need of care are classified here. 

In addition, at 41%, the majority of those in need of care fall under care level 2, as the right-hand part of the figure shows. A further 29 or 12% of those in need of care are more severely impaired and correspond to care grade 3 or 4, while around 5% belong to the group of care grade 5 with the most severe impairments. Around 13% are slightly impaired and receive care level 1 benefits. 

Other figures can be found here.

Our figure of the month 03/2023

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